Life moved on.....Lauren graduated high school , and was tired of the part time fast food type jobs she had for the last number of years. She found herself a job in an office of a company that sold home furnishings at discounted prices if you join their club......for a fee.
Our second son Corey.....he's the little guy that joined our family the same year that Lauren did.....he was all grown up too. Unfortunately Corey was living a life that was less than stellar....he had found that it was easier to make a bunch of money illegally than it was to get a regular job. Corey had met a young woman and they had a child together. Corey spent his days moving from place to place.....sometimes living in an apartment, sometimes a house, sometimes a motel room, sometimes a van, sometimes a tent. He had developed quite a temper that was not evident when he lived at home. He was a verbal and physical abuser. The only way he could make himself feel superior was to put other people down. He grew and sold marijuana, but was never caught and arrested for it. He was arrested for assault....three different times....each time he's been in jail for a longer period of time. He stole from people...he even stole from us,....several times. He wasn't a very good father......in fact he was terrible...it wasn't that he didn't care. As I mentioned before, Corey has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome . People with FAS have a very difficult time bonding to people, they want to do what's right but they don't have the ability to follow through. Corey wants to do what is right but he doesn't have the ability to follow through. He wants to be a good dad but truly doesn't have the capability to do that. I mentioned before that Corey's birth family are Muslim. They are known to the police for their violent explosive behaviour, they run their own illegal cons and are abusive towards each other. They are dramatically emotional. So, not only does Corey have to contend with FAS....genetically, he doesn't have a chance. Corey's birth family consisted of divorced parents , an older brother, two older sisters, a younger brother and a younger sister.
If you had asked me, way, way back....when I first started fostering....which did I think had a greater impact in shaping a child's future....nature or nurture I would have said nurture....after twenty years of fostering and twenty seven of being an adoptive parent....I definitely say nature.
I have watched, I have observed,....yes, there is a difference.....I have loved, I have worked with, I have prayed for, I have cried over......each of our children. I have given them all the nurturing a mother could possibly give but when it came to a child like Corey I couldn't compete with genetics....you might as well just go and beat your head against a wall...it would definitely be more productive.
Don't get me wrong, I do love Corey and I am his mother...I have the papers to prove it.....he's shafted me many times....but....I am here for him and he knows it. Does he take advantage of me...he tries, but he's not successful.
Back to Lauren and her job.....there was a warehouse attached to this office Lauren worked in...sometimes one of the guys that worked in the warehouse came into the office....this young fellow would strike up a conversation with Lauren and one day she happened to say to this guy that she had a brother that looked a lot like this young fellow....this piqued the guys interest.....he knew that Lauren was adopted....the young fellow wasn't stupid.....he knew that he had an older brother that had been adopted out...that he had never seen. This guy went home and told his mom. Meanwhile, Lauren came home and told me what had happened....she was shocked . She felt terrible that she had said anything to this young guy.
After our terrible experience with Lauren's birth family we really didn't want to get into anything with this family. I recalled how dangerous the social worker had said his birth family was. Unfortunately, this young guy had remembered that Lauren had said that Corey worked for a moving company . Corey's birth mother was determined to find Corey so she called every moving company in our area, saying she was Corey's mother and asking to speak with him. When she found him, she talked to him, and asked to meet him.
Corey contacted us, he wasn't sure what to do but he decided to meet with them. Corey had always the mindset that his birth family owed him. He had been the only one singled out when he was two years old as possibly not being the fathers child. The father could not accept this, and by the time the agency had blood tests done to determine paternity, it had been a couple of years. It was too late for Corey to go back to that family.
So to Corey, it was pay back time...they could finally look after him, for awhile.
One time, Corey and his girlfriend came to visit us and then left to visit his birth family. His girlfriend told me later that as thy were leaving Corey said to her....' Okay, that was the good family, now we have to go see the bad one.'
To this day, Corey still has contact with both families, but truly hasn't bonded with either one. He's a troubled young man....wanting to do good, wanting me to be proud of him....I don't think he'll ever live the kind of life that he should have....that he could have if his brain hadn't been damaged by the alcohol his mother drank while pregnant with him. Corey, himself is an alcoholic .....FAS people are easily subjected to addictions......Corey is the prime example.
There have been many times that Corey's addictions have caused some pretty big problems.
It was a warm night in April....unusual for this time of year. Corey and his buddies had finished work early and it was their custom to sit around talking, doing cocaine and drinking. One of the guys had a motorcycle......him and Corey decided they were going to go to a beach....on the bike,...about an hour away. The two of them were so drugged and drunk that they had a hard time just getting out of the driveway. Corey kept falling off the bike, even his boss said that they should stay home.....but they didn't listen and off they went.
That night, Don was teaching one of his college accounting courses and I was at home with the kids. The phone rang and it was someone asking if this was where Corey lived....I said no....then they asked if I was his mother...I said yes.
'Your son has been in an accident. We don't know the details but it involved a motorcycle. We have not been able to ascertain all his injuries yet but he was able to give us your phone number. We are waiting for transportation to air lift him to a trauma hospital in Hamilton '( which is the next city, the hospital Corey had been taken to was just a small local one in a small town).
I was stunned.....I tried to call and text Don, in his class, but he didn't answer. I knew I wasn't in any shape to drive so I called my sister...she came and picked me up and drive me into the hospital. I knew that the hospital that he was being flown to was known for their specialty of head trauma. I knew if they had to air lift as opposed to ground transport that it had to be bad. That's all I knew.
I was finally able to reach Don and he drove in from Oakville, the city down the highway from Hamilton.
When we went into Emergency and said who we were, they immediately put us in a separate room....'the quiet room'.....also not a good sign.
We waited and waited....finally a doctor came in and said he still could not ascertain the extent of Corey's injuries. His body was covered in scrapes from road burn and blood, his face was scraped, and he had a jagged scalp laceration across the back of his head....in fact the doctor said when the emergency crew found him that his scalp was peeled forward covering his forehead! The doctor said that they didn't know if he would live!
They said they would let us know when they were transferring him to ICU.
Finally, they sent him upstairs and we moved to another waiting room outside of the ICU.
I had first received the call around 6:30-7:00pm.....we were not allowed to see him until 2:30 am the following day.
When we were allowed in to see him, he was unconscious but restless. We spoke quietly to him, staring at his torn up body...he was a mess. He seemed quite agitated so I started talking to him and stroking his forehead....he calmed down...I watched him and every time I stopped talking he became agitated but would calm when I spoke and stroked his forehead.
When Don and I left the hospital to get a few hours of sleep we were exhausted and overwhelmed with severity of his injuries. I couldn't believe that even though he was so badly injured that he remembered our phone number for the hospital to call us...not his birth family, but us.
The next day...well, really later that morning we returned to the hospital. We spent the day, taking turns going into see him, waiting for him to regain consciousness. The doctors were amazed. They said he should have died. We heard the police report. Apparently, Corey had been riding on the back of a motorcycle driven by a young man he worked with, whose license only allowed him to drive himself, not a passenger(that point is important). They were both high and drunk. Corey was trying to fix his helmet (a passing motorist noticed) lost his balance and fell off! When he hit the pavement, his body kept rolling down they highway....the helmet went one way, his shirt was ripped off...and that's how he got road burns all over his body and not just one side, like they usually see.
The doctor in emerg hadn't been sure that he would live, but he did. He was in the hospital for about a week. He was in a lot of pain, but not enough to prevent him from trying to sell his pain meds on the street and try to convince the doctor that he needed more. Fortunately the doctors didn't fall for it.
This story gets better because a lawyer contacted Corey....convinced Corey to sue because the other guy shouldn't have been driving with a passenger. They actually won a settlement.....Corey walked away with over $200,000 !!
It could only happen to Corey that he could take such a bad situation and actually make money on it.